My wife and I often go to Deseret Industries, which is a thrift store run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This thrift store accepts donations of all kinds and sells them. All profits go towards humanitarian projects. On day we found a book of Bible stories for children. This book has been a wonderful addition to our library. Although it was not published by an LDS publishing company and some of our beliefs are not represented in the book we have found that it is a great way to help our two- year-old son learn about the stories that are in the Bible.
Our son really enjoys another book we found called, “Today I Saw a Prophet”. The book is very dated as the prophet mentioned is President Spencer W. Kimball, however, our son does recognize him in pictures and might be the only two-year-old who can.
We have some of the old standbys such as “Illustrated Book of Mormon Stories” that children in the church have been learning from for years. It really helps teach principles and stories when the words are simpler with accompanying pictures.
We have found that having a variety of stories to read has been helpful so that on Sunday afternoons when our children want to watch movies we can pull out good books of both LDS and non-LDS stories.
The theme of Religious Children’s books is very dear to our heart because during Christmas time I had the opportunity to illustrate a story my mother had written years ago about the star of Bethlehem as a Christmas gift for my mother. My wife’s mother has also written several children’s books that are geared to a broader audience of Christians, and not just Mormons.
Our son enjoys the illustrations and often learns a story well enough to tell it himself by looking at the pictures. He then repeats in conversations things he has learned about Jesus, prayer, or being good. Not all religious children’s books teach the same doctrines, so we as parents have tried to make sure we agree with what a book teaches before presenting it to our children.
Although all religious children’s books do not teach identical doctrine, they do promote good principles and moral behavior. This prepares children for growing up and learn scripture stories on their own.